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“Presentism”: Why Isn’t This Used As A Universal Principle?

Written by John (the other John).

In today’s wacky world, Leftists seem to apply 21st Century legal/philosophical principles to events that occurred millennia/centuries/decades ago. Their favourite topic of course always involves race (i.e., slavery). So basically, they are applying today’s standards of equal treatment and fairness to (for example) the year 1619 (which was over 400 years ago), in which Leftists are demonizing the Europeans (i.e., “white people”) back then AND of today for enslaving Africans hundreds of years ago (never mind that slavery existed since the beginning of human beings about 200,000 years ago). Nevertheless, applying today’s standards to the past is known as “presentism”.[1]

So being that they use presentism with such principles of human rights (rights that DID NOT exist back then), then we too should apply presentism as well, but not with respects to human rights, but instead with respects to technology and with current migration practices. This is how it works: if these Africans in 1619 truly did not want to be enslaved back then by the Europeans (i.e., “honkeys”), then why did they not video themselves being captured and then enslaved on their smart-phones, and then post it on Youtube, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, etc... so the world could witness these horrors and thus protest these actions to their politicians and human rights ngo’s. If the Africans had done this back then, then this would have ended the slave trade and they would have been freed expeditiously due to the shame upon the enslavers.

By now you are saying, “wtf are you talking about, there were no smart-phones or social media to inform the world of this back in 1619”, and you are right, no such technology existed back then. And similarly, no such human rights laws or principles existed back then either. So basically, neither of these existed in 1619, but with the power of “presentism”, these legal/philosophical principles magically exist retroactively to the past; so similarly with the power of “presentism”, these technologies too can exist retroactively in the past. So with that retroactive availability of technology to the past, we can conclude that these Africans chose to not disclose their own enslavement, which can lead us today to conclude that they wanted to be enslaved as their one-way ticket out of Africa and to the New World (the land of honkeys).

And where is my evidence that Africans centuries ago wanted to be trafficked to the New World as a means to get out of Africa? Today, Africans are paying smugglers to be trafficked into Europe and the US (as opposed to being captured and involuntarily trafficked to Europe and the US). After all, if present mores/ethics/patterns are applied to the past, then under the principle of “presentism”, then this too must be applied to the past; so yes, Africans centuries ago paid smugglers so they could be trafficked here.

I wonder if this will be written in “The 1619 Project: Volume 3”.

1. In Genesis 6:9, it states that “…Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God...” I highlight this phrase in red to emphasize that even the ancients knew that people can only be fairly judged against people of their own era; to judge a person from 400 years ago to today’s people and today’s standards is a total fallacy.
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